Scrap Yard is a collage of sorts of the different things – quotes, drawings, short write-ups – our contributors produced during exercises throughout the newspaper unit.
Generative exercises used to get the kiddos writing:
In response to some of our sample essays we used to practice critiquing skills:
“‘Every man’…I think it should be ‘humans’ (just to be fair).”
“I like the whole story!”
“Ask your parents to go over your spelling!!”
“Why not start over? It’s too scary. Make your next idea good.”
Kind of like poetry but really word association:
Trees, grass, flowers / Pushpins, pain, glass / Instrument, trombone, xylophone / Devastated, explosion, volcano, destruction / Pushy, annoying, evil / Justice, Avengers, Superman / Inspiration, colors, random
The story that followed:
There was a volcanic eruption. It killed some people. Millions of houses exploded. It was devastating for Bob, a local pizza guy. He is now afraid of volcanoes. A lot of cats died, and the survivors glow in the dark.
Another poem, sort of:
Trees, roots, leaks / Thumbtacks, sharp, plastic / Instruments, music / Devastated, death, sadness, depression / Pushy, annoying, bossy / Justice, fair, nice / Inspiration, drawing, unicorn, colors
The story that followed:
Thumbtacks are good for self-defense and are useful for pinning things to the wall. They are also good for doctors and scientists because they can poke themselves to test what type of DNA they have.
Collaborative stories. Provided with a starter sentence, everyone passed around the story and added one sentence:
It was 7:05 PM in Montreal, Quebec, when a woman hurried into the St. Henri metro station, peering through the crowd to try and find her brother. The search was fruitless, so she just went home. When she came home, her brother was there but he [turned into] a pig! She was shocked at the sight of his newly formed body. She ran out of the house and called the police. One of the officers was actually her brother! After a lot of research, she found out that a top secret agency had cloned her brother. The clone became evil. And we all died. Until one day, 200 billion years later, the REAL brother was found.
It was 7:05 PM in Montreal, Quebec, when a woman hurried into the St. Henri metro station, peering through the crowd to try and find her brother. Her brother’s name was Bob the pizza man. He had run away the week before, screaming [that] his cat was going to explode. Later, he went to the vet and found out there was an explosive hairball that had formed after the volcano incident. The first thing he tried was feeding the cat pizza. But then he chocked up the pizza and it exploded on his face. But then the ground began to rumble and Bob’s cat flipped out! The cat ran to the volcano and the whole world figured out what it felt like to be exploded!
According to a recent TED Talk Video, some people, “have a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime,” and I find this interesting because… I want a job. A job where I can have millions of dollars and own a big house. My big house would have 18 pools! I would buy like, the [w]hole world, 2 rockets, and fly to the moon…a milk moon. Cows [would not] starve to death.